30 September 2009

it's here, october

here it is, the last month i use my maiden name. my jerry and i are to be wed the last day of this month. we've chosen harvest and autumnal themes for our wedding for several reasons, not the least of which is because neither of us are spring chickens and jerry has vowed to share the "autumn of his life, bright and vibrant" with me. both of us are fond of this time of year, the heat of the summer is past, the cool pleasant days are comfortable with cooler nights. there is just such a sense of relaxation and a calmness, a contentness that seems to be implicit in the progression of fall.

earlier this evening, i was reviewing The Spreadsheet. we know who is coming, and who is not {there are many folks who send their warm wishes but are unable to attend~including most of my friends from out of state}. we know who is bringing what {most folks actually like the idea of bringing food to share in lieu of traditional gifts, and since i've been rambling on about the wedding to complete strangers as i get things ready for the wedding, i've been getting lots of feedback~~some folks are at first surprised by the idea, but then really like it}. and we know who is staying where.

the vast majority of the folks live locally, so accomadations aren't even an issue. in the continuing spirit to keep the cost down for our guests {cuz really, what dish could you possibly bring that would cost more than what you'd spend on a wedding gift?}, we wanted to prepare as many guest rooms as possible so that we would be able to have folks stay with us, if they wanted to. our preacher and two of jerry's kids and his best man will be staying here with us, and we do have three of the rooms finished due to mom and mic's visit. the one guest room that is yet untouched will still be used, there is a bed in there, it's just a bit cluttered. but his son doesn't mind and has assured us that it will be fine, so that's alright then.

my folks will be staying at the lake, site of the wedding/party, in their RV. that's probably where i will dress and prepare for the ceremony. now, all the details are being planned and reviewed and taken care of.

one of my oldest friends {we've known each other since we were ten} is traveling down from ohio with her husband and most likely staying in a nearby hotel. in an odd twist of fate, their bestman is now wedding this month in florida, so they've two weddings to attend in the South this month {i too was in their wedding, some fifteen years ago}. we won't have scads of time to visit, as they will be arriving late friday night and then leaving early sunday morning. but it will be great to see them and i appreciate them coming this distance to be with me on a very special day, to help celebrate with us.

it's all coming together quite nicely!

"mrs lincoln" has arrived!

there are three bookclubs that i've recently joined, one i helped form, which is superkewl to be on the ground level of that one and with it since the beginning, right? yeup! one group is reading the 2009 title "mrs. lincoln: a life" by catherine clinton. it took me a little while to get it, cuz it's new and only avail in hardback. our local public library doesn't have it on the shelf yet {they have it, they are still doing the cataloging of it to put it out there for the public} and there are already holds on it!

so i half.com'd it. and it arrived yesterday. in preparation for it's coming in {and because it can be anywhere for same~day shipping to three weeks later they might put it in the mail}, i read up on the author and also some of the folks that wrote reviews for it {which interestingly are all associated with the author, one was even her major prof when she was earning her PhD}. and i read up some on mary lincoln {who never really used the often bandied about "mary todd lincoln"}; so that i could get a better picture of what is already out there and just what does this particular title add to the general knowledge of its subject area.

so the book came in the mail yesterday and i'm ready to get started! wahoo! after i check the mail and reinforce the last floor that was laid this past week. wahoo!

29 September 2009

cuz imma goober

last night, i wrote a very long eMail that covered lots of updates {subject line read: all the tids and bits you can sprinkle on yer salat} and then, i got to reading wiki's entries on Richard Dawkins. i had heard of him, but wasn't really able to pin down what it was i'd heard about him. and the reason i'd even wanted to know was cuz i recently joined three bookclubs. one is newly formed and meets on campus and our book of the month is "guernsey literary and potato peel pie society" by mary ann sheffer. one is an interactive online group that is basically eMailed reviews to/for the local paper and our book for this month is "mrs. lincoln: a life". and the other is BookTalk, which has been around for a few years and bills itself as {*ahem*} "a free online reading group and book discussion forum for discussing quality fiction and nonfiction books".

the BookTalk nonfiction title for the last two months was richard dawkin's the selfish gene, which is the prequel to the book for the next two months, which is richard dawkin's the extended phenotype. so my jerry brought home MSU's copy of the selfish gene yesterday and i didn't even get into the foreward before i was taking notes of things i needed to look up. then i read the preface and was all like, "dudes, the theories!" and i was sorta feeling like i was back in grad school again.

so i started wiki'ing richard dawkins and the clicking on other links in the article so that i could read up on those things about dawkins, his theories, the people, organizations, etc. so i only got halfway thru the main richard dawkins entry before i realized that somehow i ended up way off course and was reading up on minerva, the goddess similar to athena. i'm not exactly sure how i got there, and how she relates to richard dawkins, but i am sure it was thru the clickable links that trailed away from him to her.

then i realized along and about then that it was about 3:30am and so i toddled off to bed, slightly chilled {it was our first night below fifty degrees} and then woke up an hour and a half later, sweated thru. so got up and took a shower and got all nice and squeaky clean. spent a few minutes with my jerry before he zoomed off to work, and woke my mom up so she can begin her trip back to arkansas.

cuz i'm a goober, i will end up paying for last night's late excursion into the depths of dawkins. i figure along about ten this morning, i'll hit a major slump and start to wind down like one of those figures on that one depression commercial. but! before then, i'm hoping to get to the library and back again. then slump away. cuz it'd be better to slump here at home than in the car at traffic light number six.

i'm just saying.

28 September 2009

*ahem* since i have the podium...

this week is Banned Book Week, which is not celebrating "oh yea! let's ban a book!" but which is drawing attention to the fact that there are ijits attempting to ban books, based on their opinions of what is right or wrong or offensive or whatnot. i find the concept of banning books to be similar to the concept of attempting to legislate morality. if god wanted folks to have freedom of will, so that man would choose to do the right thing instead of being made to do the right thing; then surely that's good enough for man to observe in his own societal dealings.

the vast majority of americans do not read, however, it seems that the folks who do jump on the banned~book wagon are the very ones who hardly, if ever crack the spine of a book in the first place. if a book offends you, don't read it. and since most folks who get offended by what they think is in the book don't read, that doesn't seem to be too hard for them to handle.

in my own experience, i've found that reading a book, even if its author spouts opinions i don't agree with, is a fruitful exercise. it makes you think! even if what it makes you think is, "this author doesn't know what s/he is speaking about, cuz..." at least the reading the book made you think. so read. read anything and everything, cuz reading makes you think.

otherwise, you'ren't doing it right. and it's all just words. but even that would be time well~spent versus some of the other fruitless activities you could be doing, like not thinking and just doing something cuz someone told you to. read, think, choose.

free will.

25 September 2009

mah boooooooooooooook

i'm really excited about this book, for several reasons. i learned how to crochet when i was about seven, or maybe six {i say that cuz i remember stuff by where i lived, but that memory of my first lesson was actually not where i lived, but where my mom's best friend lived...and she lived there my entire childhood, tho i do remember approximately i was seven or younger, cuz my grandmother died when i was only seven by a month, and i remember that i proudly showed grandma that i could do what she does toOOooo}. over the years, i would crochet on and off, but it wasn't something that i spent scads of time doing.

then about two years ago, my mom was telling me about a group that she belonged to {a homemaker's group, i think} making hats for heads, caps for kids, knitting for noggins...they'd pledged to make hats for kids at the children's hospital in lil rock, arkansas {mom lives in arkansas}. so i was gonna make some hats and give them to her to give to the group to give to the hospital. i never did learn to knit, altho that had been the point of that long~ago lesson {they were gonna show me how to crochet, but i didn't know how to hold the yarn and kept using my fingers to throw the yarn over the crochet hook instead of picking it up with the hook...so mom's friend thought it looked like i was trying to knit...so she was all for showing me how to knit, but i think the fact that there are two knitting needles versus one crochet hook meant twice as much likelihood that my fingers would get tangled up}. so to do the hats, i'd need to crochet.

so i looked up all kinds of patterns online, for free crochet patterns for hats, beginner's level. so then i came up against another challenge right away...reading friggen patterns. sigh. cuz everyone out there thinks they have a great pattern, but if the reader doesn't know the language and terms and how you are communicating, then that great pattern is indecipherable and not so great after all. for instance, when someone uses the word "turn", they may assume that you, the reader, know that they mean "flip the work over to the other side and continue working". yet "turn" could mean "turn the work around and around, as tho you are working in a circle".

so reading patterns was a challenge cuz not everyone uses the same terms to mean the same concepts. i started to find that there were certain groups and organizations which offered patterns or linked to patterns that used the same language to mean the same things. and i learned what to look for to tell whether "treble stitch" meant the americanized treble or the united kingdom's "treble" {which in america would be considered the double crochet stitch}.

and i started to trust that i could not only learn the anatomy of a stitch, enough to be able to read the pattern, and intuitively get the concept the writer was conveying, and then execute it accordingly. and i started to learn how mathematic principles can be applied to various projects to create my own squares, rounds, hectagons, etc. i am learning that where you place the stitch doesn't always seem obvious and can yield very different drape and stetch to the same yarn and the same stitch.

for about a year, i spent every four or six weeks experimenting with various concepts. taking a pattern, breaking it down into elements, building them out exponentially, using various size hooks, then changing out yarns, then maybe inserting the hook into this place in the previous row's stitches instead of that place. and some things got ripped out right away, some things got abandoned, some of the turned out perfectly and were given as gifts.

which brings me to another point: most of the things i make are intended for a specific person, and i think good thoughts about that person as i am working on the item, intertwining all my warm wishes into the yarn, which becomes an afghan, a baby blanket, a hat, a scarf, leg/arm/wrist warmers, shawls, etc. the majority of the other things i make go to charities, whether they are the kids, or their parents, comforters for puppies and elderly injuried doggies at the shelter, or whatnot.

very seldom do i keep something, or make it for myself. last year, i was gonna do just that. i had been experimenting with yarn and stitches and hooks and had taught myself how to make the pieces to replicate the patterns that are traditionally thought of as quilt designs. like the double~wedding ring pattern. i bought the yarn, each color meant something special to me. and then my world exploded destructively.

and all that yarn, those plans, changed. and i've not yet made myself another other than a few hats or scarves/wraps. and it's time to think about making something this winter, for both jerry and myself, as a couple. so i might go on and make the double~wedding ring quilt~ghan after all!

{as a quick note, two years ago, one weekend, i taught myself to knit {continental, cuz it makes much more sense, being that i've been crocheting and so already hold my yarn with proper tension with my left hand}. i can see some benefits, sure. but i prefer crochet, and so that's what i usually do. i'm not a purist, so i can appreciate knitted garments and items and not get all snooty about them. and i've used knitting looms and taught others to use them too; altho there have been some folks that have said things like, oh that's not real knitting...hm, and using a stove isn't real cooking, cuz you should have used some flint, started a fire, and cooked over that...are you kidding me? seriously? what, are the knitting police gonna descend on me and confiscate my yarn and hooks? dudes, get a grip}

so yeah, the book. i'm excited for a few reasons, one of which is that the book is bound by spiral, so it opens and lies flat so that you can use it easily to refer to without trying to juggle it and a weight to hold the pages open and all that other stuff. i'm excited to be learning how to read graphs instead of written instructions. i'm excited cuz it not only uses and teaches basic stitches, but it builds on those to create more complex stitches. the book has explanations that allow you to learn the elements behind the project, so that you can take that and make it your own, cuz patterns are great, but sometimes you want to take this element, and that feature, and oh! hey this technique and oh! and that there stitch and wow, check this out!! something that is beautiful, or funky, or elegant, and uniquely yours.

there are other reasons i like the book, and am excited about delving into it! but right now, i've been listening to the comedian and the dogs and jerry and mic and now my meds are kicking in. i'll keep ya posted on my adventures into the Bible...later, dudes!
i decided to take a break from scrubbing bathrooms, and update my journal. this week, i've actually done very little. mostly, mom has been painting, and she finished three rooms in the addition. my brother, mic, has been laying out the subfloors and several other projects like repairing the internal lever so the shower in the guest bath actually works. now, i'm putting some of the finishing touches in some areas, like replacing the vent covers, switch plate covers, and outlet covers and hanging shower curtains and liners.

now i need to get the step~stool so i can reach the upper third of the walls and all in the bathroom in the addition. scrub the shower in there and then do the floor and i'm pretty much done in that bath, altho i do need to hang the liner in there, and find the rod for it {since we took out the sliding glass doors in the spring, they were broken and hanging off a derailed track that was beyond repair}.

in the other guest bath, i've not yet begun to clean the toilet, sink, or floor yet. eeek. sigh. i won't have to worry about any hair being painted onto the walls, in that bath. in the guest bath in the addition, mom has not painted it {there was no time at the moment, maybe next year} and whoever did it before painted lots of strands of hair right onto the wall. i tried to scrub at them, and a few have come off, but most are there til i can take a sander to the walls...which won't be anytime soon.

so mom has started to lay the tile, since she is done painting for this visit. it looks very nice, and the tile choice {marbled white with dark green} goes great with the peppermint tea paint {a light green with a blue tinge}. between the earlier in the week fiasco with lowe's {which i didn't write about here, so don't go trying to find it, ya didn't miss it, i just didn't have the energy to focus on something so stupidly frustrating~~it all is resolved to the best possible outcome, but the very fact that it occurred threw us off schedule, which meant monday was a wash} and my brother getting sick and being down and out for a day {yesterday, today he's kinda gingerly proceeding}; we've really been crunched for time and outta whack.

so all that means that we weren't able to get down what we'd've liked to. we still have put a huge dent into the task~list. but there were a few rooms that we didn't get to, cuz we don't have the space to go with the stuff in them and we don't have the time to properly clean them and paint them. so they will have to wait til some other time, along with most of the ceilings, and the master suite.

in other news, i received "the crochet stitch bible: the essential illustrated reference: over 200 traditional and contemporary stitches with easy~to~follow charts" by betty barnden in today's mail. the book retails at thirty bucks and my jerry bought it for me for thirteen! he's soooOOooo sweet ta me!! more on that later, time to return to the task at hand, the walls await, the floors call, the bathrooms are incomplete...later, dudes.

24 September 2009


when my jerry and i went out to my folks' place a few months back, he'd gotten along quite well with my brother. they chatted about lots of stuff and found lots in common. in the past week that my mother and brother have been here, my jerry has found himself a pht~ball buddy. mic, it turns out, not only likes the game and understands it, but gets quite enthusiastic about some of the plays.

so tomorrow, my jerry is gonna take my brother to the Starkville High~School game. the yellow~jackets haven't been having a very good season thus far, so they really need some loyal fans. my jerry's been getting season tickets for the high~school every year since '92, when he retired from the coast guard and moved back into the area. he's about as loyal as it gets.

mic and jerry, male bonding with a few bourbon~whiskey/cokes over the myriad of DirecTV football games, will go to an actual game tomorrow evening. hope the game is good! go jackets!

21 September 2009

sharing the chucks!

Jerry and his youngest's youngest, wearing their matching tux~t's, celebrating the baby's first birthday!

I was having a shitty day, and Mary dropped by and my day went from tears and sniffles to chuckles and grins in no time at all!

Mom took a look and said that the boys look like they both got the same joke at the same time.

Now tell me honestly, who could look at this and not get all giggly too?!?

20 September 2009

another day done, update

so one room is completely painted now, two coats kilZ and two topcoats over patches and all that. ready for the floor work now. while mom painted in there, i finished krud~kutting/deglossing the room i was in the middle of doing last night. then i started to work on the bathroom in the addition. turns out that is gonna be way more than a job. waaaaaaaaaay more.

mic built a cover for the one rather large hole in the small guest room in the additon. that way, we can remove that if we do decide to put a small air~conditioner in there. altho the siding was just run over the hole, on the exterior of the home; so if we do put a small AC in there, we will need to cut thru the siding...we shall cross that road when we get to that bridge {wink}. options, we're all about options at this point.

jerry made a great supper, and has kept us all saturated in tea. he took one of his sons out to the county lake today so that he could get a lay of the land and all that. jerry and mic went out to the field behind the house and put out corn for the deer and went out to the pear tree and picked some. jerry's all set to start his week at work, so he can take a break from all the dust, painting, cleaning, and saw bursts!

mom, mic, and i called it the day's end within the last half hour. we have a plan for tomorrow. in the morning, while waiting for the delivery of the flooring materials, we'll be getting ready. the key to good floor is cleanliness. so the surfaces have been swept several times a day for the last few days. but tomorrow, we will use a small vacuum brush and several dry paint brushes to work up all the dirt and dust from any crevices. it'll be like we are anthropologists!

then we'll use damp towels to pick up any that the brushes don't get. then we'll be able to think about fitting the flooring. the floor will need to be wiped down constantly as the project progresses. generally, it's cuz folks skimp on the cleanliness that tiles shift and gaps are created. the tiniest specks of grit can act as abrasives and make any adhesive used less able to do its job. to cut down on the risk of transferring dust from out side the room, into the room, one person stays in the room, while others hand in the materials. this cuts down on folks tracking stuff in on their shoe bottoms. it makes me think of portable contamination rooms!

after i do what i can in preparation for that, i'll spend the rest of the time scrubbing on the bathroom. it took about three hours just to do the bottom of the tub, and it's lots better but still not bath~ready. however, it'll do for the time, while i have at the floor and then the toilet, sink, and walls. eventually, i'll get to the cabinet and ceiling and shower walls. the cool thing is i can still do other stuff and get back to the bathroom in between other tasks.

mom will be painting the larger of the guest rooms in the addition tomorrow. she'll also finish the front guest bath and the short hall should be ready for me to put all the vents, light switch plates, and outlet plates back on. within a few days, we hope to have two rooms, plus the guest bath completely done. then mom will paint the guest bath in the addition while mic continues to work on the floors and i'll begin to sort and sift thru all the items we've set aside in the spring, placing family heirlooms and favorite things from when jerry's kids where kids and that his late wife had loved back thru~out the house.

we'd piled most stuff into one room, so that we wouldn't have to worry about things getting damaged while the rest of the house was being worked on. i think that some folks thought that we'd gotten rid of some things that we hadn't. perhaps once the work is done, and things are back on shelves, hung on walls, and such, then it will be obvious that lots was kept; it's just that it temporarily was out of sight.

there will still be one guest room that is relatively untouched. that's because i couldn't clean in there as i had no where to go with anything in there. i think as the winter keeps us home~bound and in from the yard~work, we'll tackle some projects such as sorting thru the thousands of pictures and putting them into various books and labeling them. jerry's mother plans to come out and help us, by telling me stories of what was taken where with whom. we came across a picture circa 1916 earlier this year, and i would like to properly frame it with the information so that folks down the line can tell who's who and all that.

at any rate, we will be able to put some guests up for the wedding, tho there will still be some work to do. i'm sure that folks will be understanding, and if not, there are hotels, get a room! also, most of our ceilings will need to wait til next year. and so will the master suite. not a top priority at the moment, doncha know.

19 September 2009

wedding/party update

of the 55 invitations we've sent out, we have received 22 replies. there are many others that we know whether or not they plan to come, but as we aren't the only ones involved in the planning, we've been asking folks to send us the replies or eMail us the information. that way, it makes it that much easier and more accurate for the wonderful woman who is hostessing the reception for us to better plan what is needed, who is coming, what they are bringing, who is not coming, and who we haven't heard from yet.

since the reply~cards are pre~addressed, pre~labeled, and pre~stamped; there really is minimal effort required~~just swirl your pen around and drop it in the post! or click on the reply button in eMail and send us a quick note. of course, there have been folks we thought were coming, who cannot. and those we thought weren't coming, who are. that's one of the main reasons that sending the reply card is a good idea: it takes the guess~work out of things!

so as anxious as we are to get the rest of the replies, the fact is that we are already ahead of the game. 22 replies of the 55 is a great success rate, as most wedding~peeps get only about a max of 80% replies. we already have 40% and are still six weeks out from the wedding. so really, we're in better shape than we'd've thought.

if you are one of the folks who has not responded yet, please do not assume that we know what your intentions are! help us out in our planning! or at the very least, be courteous. you can do that, can't ya? yeah, i thought so.

here's the plan, man!

this morning, we all got busy right away. mic {my brother} repaired walls, and jerry helped him tear out two closets. jerry pulled the nails and cleaned up the 2x4's for future use and then the two of them headed out to Lowe's and a few other building supply/hardware stores. mom primed and painted some of the areas she had prepped yesterday. so now the short hall is done and the guest bath is all primed ready for paint tomorrow. i spent the day krud~kutting/deglossing the walls in three rooms. three rooms look like an adolescent boy's face, dotted with patches of dry~wall mud. one room is three quarters of the way painted with the first topcoat, the rest of it needs to dry out and then be sanded before it too can be painted.

when the guys got back from town, jerry had a massive headache and he was very disgruntled with the folks at Lowe's. mic was none too happy either, and as we ate our pizza for late lunch, the guys told us about their bad experiences. then, we called a few other places for some things, and jerry rode the bike in to pick up some stuff he could put in his backpack.

around six or so, jerry settled his freshly showered self down to watch state's game, only to end up having our direct tv cut out for about half an hour or so. it was pouring rain and so he tuned it in on the radio. mic and he are standing in the living room, rooting on various players {as tho they can hear all the yabbling from all our homes!} while mom is sorta watching, sorta reading, and sorta just resting her bones.

so, tomorrow, we have a game plan. mom will paint the bathroom {mic has determined the lever needs to be replaced so that the shower can be used, i thought it was that, but i'm not a plumber...glad he can fix it, and save us a lil money} and then paint more in some of the other rooms in the addition. jerry will be removing the nails and cleaning up the remainding lumber from the closet in one of the rooms. i'll krud~kut/degloss the rest of that room and by then the mud patches of repair should be dry and sanded and ready to be primed or painted over.

tomorrow evening, we need to start cleaning the floors in preparation for Monday's delivery of sub/underflooring. i've swept the floors back there many times over the last few months. they are particle board and so are not a smooth surface. this means that gritty dirt and dust settles in the layers and cracks and that all has to be cleaned up before we can begin to lay the floors. that will be a meticulously careful process but any job worth doing is worth doing well! right?

so that's the plan, man!

18 September 2009


today was my first time i'd visited the air force base over yonder. my jerry had an appt so we thought it'd be a good time for me to ask about my coverage, benefits, and just how does tricare {the military's insurance carrier} work with medicare and with blue~shield/~cross. my primary concern was whether i could still use the general practioner that i've been using for years and years now. since her supervising MD also has his Pharm D, i have lots of confidence not only in her care, but in the entire clinic's care {esp when it comes to overseeing my psychiatric needs}. so the good news is that yes! i can continue to see my gp and all will be covered AND i can continue to use my pharmacy. which is doubly good, cuz i really like my pharm~pholks {mr roy makes certain that none of my meds interact with any of my other meds, and is always willing to offer reassurances and answer any questions i might have}.

jerry is gonna go see a physical therapist for a persistant knot he's had in the upper inner aspect of his left shoulder. he had x~rays taken today, and next week, he'll pop in for his blood work and labs, as well as his flu~vaccine and flu~mist nasal spray. so we got all that taken care of too.

and since we were gone for close to six hours, my mother & brother got lots done already. mom finished the short hall {that she'd prep'ed and kilZ'ed back in the spring} and used the crud~cutter/gloss~tack in the guest bath in preparation for two coats of kilZ and then two top~coats. mic {my brother} began to remove hardware, including some multi~fold plastic closet doors; repair, spackle, and patch drywall dinges, holes, and such; and take measurements, make material lists, and the like. so we've got some ideas of priorities and projects for the next week. yea!

this evening, we all lifted a glass of my folks' home~made plum wine and toasted each other and the progress we have made, we are making, and we will make. yea!!

17 September 2009


yea!! today, i went to the AR/MS border, and picked up my mother and brother to spend a week or so with me. my brother has never been to miss'ippi before, so "welcome!". they are here to help me with the house. we're going to clean, paint, and lay new floors in the rooms in the addition. there will still be plenty to do afterward, in future visits, like painting the master suite and laying down new flooring in the master bath. however, our main priority at this point for this visit is to finish the addition's rooms and move all the piled~up furniture {that's occupying the majority of the dining area} into the those rooms, thus allowing those rooms to be used for our wedding guests.

i'm really excited about this, cuz we're moving closer and closer to the wedding time~frame, and i'd really like to have as much of the house guest~ready as possible. there will be more than a ton of stuff to do. see, back in the spring of the year, we'd stacked and stored tons of stuff in a couple rooms, to later be unpacked, sorted, and arranged into their permanent places after we had the rooms finished. so there is the finishing to do, the stuff to arrange and set~up, and then too, all my home from the farm needs to be moved over to here {which i have not done because there isn't a place ready for it to go into}.

and then there is the stuff regarding the wedding/party itself. the pace is stepping up! and we're all stepping up with it. grins!

15 September 2009

all the kewl kids are doing it

tonight, my jerry's eldest's children were with us for a few hours. his oldest grandson is ten now, and in the fifth grade. i was sitting sketching, well, doodling really, and he was drawing too. then his lil sister came out from the other room where she'd been watching "scooby~dooo" with jerry and decided she wanted to draw some too. so i went and got my art box, which is a shoe box {well, it's bigger, a boot box} and has a lift out tray with all my colored pencils and a large ream of what had been a box of dot~matrix printer paper that no one uses {cuz really, do dot~matrix printers even exist anymore?!?}. ya know, it's the paper that is all connected and has lil rows of holes along the edges to help guide the paper into the printer just right. since the paper was no longer used, printer's defunct, i put it to good use as my drawing paper. also with the box is a kick~ass pencil sharpener that my artist friend whose chosen medium is pencil gave me and a huge box of 96 crayons. the pencils are roseart and avail for cheap at walmart but are very good grade for the price.

so there we were, the three of us coloring, sketching, and drawing and jerry decided to read to us. so he went and got a few old books with children's stories and read some funny stuff. classics like suess's 500 hats, and carroll's mad hatter and the tea party, and pancake story, and the teeny tiny lady {TAKE IT!!}. the evening was a ton of fun and i learned how to draw butterflies {the youngest, five, and in kindergarten taught me}. kids can be so cool!

14 September 2009

between the pages book club

there is a new group forming here in starkville, focused on something i absolutely love to do...read! read books! i love books! i love to read! i love to read books!!

so we got together this afternoon, and decided when we will meet {third monday of the month, starting next month} and chose a few titles to get us started. first up: mary ann shaffer's the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society. also, we'll read 'the secret life of bees' for november {we are actually meeting on my birthday}. and we all are to bring some ideas with us for titles for the future at the october meeting.

so tomorrow, i'm going in search of this book, cuz i don't currently own it. also, i pick up my blood test results for the marriage license, and my jerry visits his doc later this week so that next week we can go ahead and get the marriage license taken care of and that will be one more thing to check off our list!

13 September 2009

the b~boyz

my jerry's youngest's youngest turned one year old today! he had birthday pix, a party with lots of candy, cake, family, and lots of presents too. his mom ordered two cakes, including a small round one so the birthday boy would have one of his very own and he was stripped down and placed in his hi~chair out on the front porch so he could get as messy as he wanted. his parents, his grandparents, his great~grandparents, and aunts and uncles and cousins were all here. his mom had a pinata for him, and it stopped raining long enough to hang it out in the front yard so the kids could have plenty of swinging~room. his cousin {my jerry's oldest grandson} did the honors of actually breaking it open. there was a romper~room sorta thing that inflates {i can't think of the name for it, tho when i was a kid, we called it "the moonwalk" cuz you climbed into it with no shoes or socks and bounced, bounced, bounced}.

i've selected a few pix to post, with captions. i didn't post some because i haven't spoken with the children's parents to make sure it was ok to post pix of them on the net. the children shown here, the birthday boy and his older brother, are my jerry's youngest's and she has given me permission to post them. so, if you were at the party, and you aren't shown here, it's not cuz i'm ignoring you or favoring others; it's a matter of the permission~principle!

"let's hear it for the boys, let's hear it for my babeeeee..." my jerry usually buys his grandchildren their first birthday outfits. the b~day boy is sporting his tux~onesie and will wear it for our wedding next month {omg, kenya believe it?!?}. my jerry ordered in his own tux~t so that he could wear it for the b~boy's day. hmmmm, maybe i'll wear it for our rehersal dinner...color the rose orange, red, and yellow....i'm just saying.

daddy's boy...such love. {i didn't get a good pic of mommy with her boy, probably cuz mommy was running around doing everything and so wasn't just chillin with the boyz...that's ok cuz i'm sure everyone loved all the effort you put into making the day perfect}

my jerry's mom with her lil great~grand. that was an extra cool aspect, that we didn't just have the parents' generation, but the grandparents, and the great~grandparents on both sides!

big brother jumping for joy...again...again...again...

12 September 2009

tids and bits

i woke up, cuz i thought i heard the phone ring. but whoever it was, didn't leave a message. so i went back to bed {after brushing my teeth and washing my face, cuz i like the fresh feeling and ewww skanKeeeeness is ewwww} and i was gonna read for a few minutes. but my shaddow lane got all agitated and so i thought she wanted to go out, i need to pee when i first wake up, i figure she does too!

but when i opened the door for her, she shrank back and just looked at me with those puppy~dog eyes of hers. so i thought, since i'm up anyway, go on and post an entry, check my eMail, stuffs like that. so i let the lil doggies and shaddow all out. she went, but only cuz i was standing at the door. i'm not sure why she's all hesitant to go outside, but i've been keeping an eye on her and i think she's starting to go blind.

she has cloudy eyes now. maybe cataracts, i'm not sure. and i know if i were going blind, i'd be scared of getting out into the great outdoors where things are looming large, waiting to scare the crap outta me. so, i try to reassure her as much as possible.

my jerry is feeling some better. but i think he is gonna rest today, instead of getting out to mow, mow, mow our mote. tomorrow, one of his grandson's turns one year old and so his birthday party is to be here, at jerry's. i don't think we need to do anything for it, but i'm not too sure. at any rate, his lil tux~onesie and shorts are hanging in the closet. jerry also got his own t~shirt with a tux on it. so maybe i'll be able to post pix!

10 September 2009

universities, where there's more than a good education

this morning, at half~a~clock, my jerry woke me with terrific regret and apologizing for the rain. i was croaking out reassurances which sounded anything but, while struggling to get to the bathroom without ricocheting off the doorjamb {3 pts!}. normally, he rides his bike to work. unless it's pouring out. and then he takes the truck, which we no longer have. so then, theoretically, he'd take the car. but today, i had my appt with my gp scheduled. so i splashed some water on my face, brushed my teeth, and shoved my feet into some sandals, while muttering, "don't worry baby, i love ya" {schlep, schlep out the door}.

as i was backing the car and turning the dew~doodle around, i noticed that my jerry seemed to be worried and not looking all that good. in short, i was troubled that he was troubled. and then, it kicks in, right about the time i ask him, why he is not feeling so perky.

today was his late wife and his anniversary. they would have been married for 33 years. that's a huge, Huge, HUGE importance, cuz they had had a great relationship that was realistically durable and strong. so jerry was feeling bad for all sorts of reasons, related to this situation.

first, his wife is no longer alive and actively a part of his life. and he misses her. and wishes she were still alive and here and all. and then, he feels bad about feeling that way; as tho somehow his love for her and his love for me are competing. in his head, he knows that's not the case. and in his heart, he needs some loving reassurances. so we talked about that, cuz we've had this conversation before and he knows how i feel and think and that i'm not bent outta shape over it.

in fact, i'd be seriously worried if he was able to move on without any looks back. his love for his late wife had first developed when he was a young man, and grew all thru their adult lives. they have five adult children together, who are all married and living productive lives, and seem to be for the most part happy and satisfied with their own lives. if his late wife were still alive, jerry and she would still be married.

and in a big way, they are still. they didn't dissolve their relationship, nor part ways. and it would be largely remiss to think that his love for her is not just as important and present as it was for several decades. love is not a toggle switch, flip it off or on. doesn't work like that, and nor should it.

so today was hard for that reason alone.

but then, it wasn't that reason alone. nope, he was feeling bad in a literal sense of physically becoming ill. both he and i've been feeling rather worn down and tired of late, but he hasn't had the luxury of napping to catch up on his rest, as i have had.

see, he works on campus, at the local state university, working with the students. i don't think that vet students are more likely to carry swine flu~virus around with them, tho maybe given the nature of the disease and all, that may be the case. our MSU was ranked number two {with ole miss ranking number three, yea miss'ippi, yea} in the nation for number of swine~flu cases. now, most schools tend to be breeding grounds for all kinds of lovely lil contagions, infections, and such. any place there are that many people, there stands to be lots of communicable patterns of disease. epidemiologists love universities, cuz you can get more than a good education there.

so, just cuz my jerry was cramping, and sweating, and feeling nauseous, and getting all gassy, and headachey, and oh maybe running a lil fever...that doesn't mean he has the swine~flu. but it did mean i went to get him from work at lunchtime. and it did mean that we didn't join his mother for a family dinner at the home she lives in. and it meant that he was in bed this afternoon, while i took his mom to the doctor {i'd already been to see mine this morning}. and it meant that he got all the phone calls that disturbed his sleep and made him extra fussy for awhile.

but, he does seem to be feeling some better and he was able to hold down some soup earlier. and i think, just to be on the safe side, he may stay home tomorrow. it was a suck~ass day for him all the way around. bless his heart.

07 September 2009


yeah. so, today i sobbed. i didn't just shed a tear or two. i wept and sniffled and snotted and generally made a mess of things. it was cuz i felt like i was making such a mess of things that i got weepy. and all those lil things added up to make me feel like i was just doing it all wrong.

and i don't have anyone to blame but me.

there were lots of things that by themselves, would have been disappointing, but all combined made me buckle. and then, cuz i did a piss~poor job of planning, i ran out of not one, not two, but three of my prescriptions. and this month's crampage was the worst it's been in quite some time.

so i was a blubbery mass of mess. leakage was rampant, i sniffled and honked and went thru wads of tissues cuz every time i thought i had it under control, i'd burst into a new freshet of tears. my jerry was very comforting and it made me cry even harder that he is so sweet ta me.

po'man, see what he puts up with?

05 September 2009


my jerry is an avid football fan. not rabid, but avid. avid is sitting in the rain to watch a game, rabid is sitting in the rain til the very very end and thru the post~game break~down. we did attend MSU's first game of the season today, and yes, it did rain. i was ok with the getting wet part, but i got the chills while sitting there so i shivered and jerry was observant and noticed that {rabid would be that nothing else exists but the football game}, so he wrapped his hot lil arms around me for the rest of the game. he did offer several times to go, cuz he discovered just before we left the house this morning that he does get the channel so it's all TiVo'd.

me being the lovely klutz that i am, i managed to stumble and slip on peanut shells up in the sky~deck and ya know, that there concrete is steep! i did enjoy viewing the game on the MegaJumboTron cuz there were sometimes when the guy in front of me would stand to see the field and obscure my view. i think he was listening to commentary and was watching the game too. it was kinda weird tho, cuz there usually wasn't much going on when he'd pop~up outta his seat like a lil spring toy.

i enjoyed the pre~game tailgating and met a few folks that were great conversationalists while we were enjoying the stadium's air before we mounted the steps to find our seats. there was an older couple that joined as at the table and the wife giggled when I flashed her my "football for dummies" and told her that I brought my cheatsheet. the husband said that she's been watching for their 43 yrs of marriage and still doesn't know anything about the game. i think she knows a helluva lot but probably doesn't let on cuz i can tell he just loves that he thinks he knows more than her about something. i did tell her that i thought if football players could learn and understand all the rules and the plays and the complicated stats, then i'm sure they could also handle chemistry and the like. i really enjoyed meeting that couple!

the before show was good, our band did a good job. the game got delayed cuz lightening was within three miles of the stadium, and so the rule is delay. which makes sense, which i definitely didn't have...sense that is, cuz i sat out in the rain, on a metal bleacher seat...while the football players all scampered off the field and back into the clubhouse {where presumably the locker room is}. Oh~and the old mascot retired and the new one was named and donned the official MSU bulldog harness. his name is "chance".

the half~time show was awesome. sonic boom of the south lived up to their name! that's jackson's band. they actually did a tribute with a michael jackson medley, i don't believe i've ever seen an entire line~up of blue/white uniformed men in plumed hats doing pelvic~thrusts, and i probably won't again. it was a bit like a line~dancing papa smurf...

also, msu's band took the field again, with Nash Street. nash street is a blue~grass band with contemporary country music slant. my general practitioner's son is the bass player and by that i mean he plays that big brother of the cello, viola, and violin.

as far as the game itself, i did recognize a few plays and i was able to figure out who had the ball, why, and where they were running to...most of the time. that might not seem like much, but i was pretty proud of myself for not screaming go, Go, GO to a dude in blue/white. esp since our dudes were in maroon and white. we stayed thru the 35 points scored thru the third quarter and then we started to head in the general direction of the Vet School.

here we are now, freshly showered, warm/dry in our sleep duds and settling in for a quiet evening with full tummies. catch ya later!

03 September 2009

no, 'snot!

this past week, my eyes have been itching and draining which is always a sure~fire sign that the pollen season has kicked in. usually february's pollens herald the spring and september's herald the start of autumn. since pollens and other irritants are in the air for a good four to six weeks before we actually see it in the form of blooms or decaying leaves, my mucus membranes are a good early warning system to detect those pesky lil pollens.

which means that those of us snotty folks get even snottier.

makes me wanna cry and whine, "no, it's not! {stomp} 'snot that time already" *sniff*

currently reading

i mooched this last month and with all that's been going on, i'm just now finishing it. it's a lot better than i had thought it might be. i thought it would be a droll, light hearted, light read; but it is actually quite detailed and multi~layered. there are explorations of politics, dictatorships, annexing and successions and reannexing, stereotypes, discriminations, assassinations, fanaticism, and some rather poignant points are made.

i will go on to read some other titles by this author. our local public library carries some, and the others are avail thru the consortium or interlibrary loan. i'm not sure how much reading i can do in the next couple months, but if i don't get to them right away, that's alright! they'll still be there!

i recommend this if you have any interest in stories told from a different perspective than the classic tale. i also think that you need to read all the Oz titles, not just the one we all know, but L. Frank Baum wrote others too. And seven other folks continued the series after his death. Baum also wrote other stories that had nothing to do with Oz, including a wonderful look at "the life and times of santa claus".

02 September 2009

baby weight

yeah, so i went over to my artist friend's today, so we could work on putting my guest book together for the wedding/party. there really isn't too much that two people can do at the same time, so i basically showed her what i'd brought {satin ribbons in various colors and textures and widths; silk leaves/flower~petals; lots of different paper & card~stock; paper punches; and some items that were "musts": vows, invitation, reply cards, music lists, magnets, tat~flash, and the like} and i shared some of my ideas. as i am very familiar with her creative process and the sort of ideas she comes up with and the sort of creations she produces; i gave her completely free reign with the book. i trust her. she showed me a few pages as she did them, and then took off on her own power.

in the meantime, a mutual friend showed up with her lil chubby~baby. she and her husband are moving into their new home {new to them} next week, from a rented townhouse. she'd a few errands to take care of and was leaving her son for awhile. the baby is currently six months old. he is off the charts as far as weight goes, but he's always been {except at birth}. he looks so much like his father, bless his heart, that there is absolutely no doubt who the baby daddy be.

since my friend was rolling right along with the guest book, i settled down on the blanketed floor with the baby boy. this was the most interactive i'd seen him be and also the most active, period. his short feathery blonde hair has a hint of red to it, and he had the fresh clean warm baby smell that makes me wanna stick my nose into his hair and breathe deep. his fat lil hands showed dimples in his dimples and his chubby legs were sturdy and with so many folds folding into folds that i wondered if his diaper was too tight and just squishing all into overflow. but nope! not so, cuz when we changed him, i was momentarily stumped...i knew the parts should be there, but...where? i actually was relieved when my friend took over attending to his clean~up needs, cuz i was actually fairly dauted with just how to go about that.

my jerry came over after work, and he held the baby and played with him for awhile. usually jerry's grands kick and squiggle and stare and giggle and wave and clap and all that happy~baby stuff. this baby was not very responsive at all, to any one's attempts to get a giggle. it wasn't that he was fussy. it was more that he just didn't have much of a reaction at all to anyone doing anything. to me, this made him an extremely easy child to hold cuz he didn't wriggle and show interest in anything. but it made me wonder, was he alright? i think so, he's just...seditive.

the baby didn't fuss, he didn't giggle, he didn't do much of anything really, but he sure liked dora the explorer and Lucille Ball. rather, he didn't not like it. he just sorta sat and stared. i asked my friend for a few reassurances, and several times i turned him toward me, just to be sure he was still breathing, and blinking. cuz his body was kinda limp. except it wasn't, it was stuffed. he was like one of those heavy, sand~filled, clothe~body dolls that resembled real~babies {in fact, i think the dolls were called "real~babies"}. it was sorta unsettling.

the upside was that his mother was not startled or worried. this made me think, "k. this is normal for him". he just seemed so...heavy...and...sedate.

*the picture in this post is NOT my friend's baby, it's just a pic found on the web*

yet another sign of aging, and obesity


for almost two months now, my left heel has been painful. i thought maybe i stepped on something and bruised my heel. but then, for the last few weeks, i've noticed that the pain has intensified instead of easing up and healing.

in fact, ya know how ya get the pins and needles feeling if your arm gets hit in the rather oddly named "funnybone"? or if a body part goes to sleep from limited blood flow all of a sudden receiving a surge? well, that's about what it feels like.

and now, earlier today, the muscle that runs down the outside of my left leg, below my knee but on the exterior aspect of my leg is now cramping up with severity. i was trying to give it time, but i think it's been getting worse.

ah the joys of the decline of the human body, especially a fat one. yeah, i'm not feeling too jolly at the moment. sigh.

01 September 2009

true maroon

ok, now long time readers know that i'm not athletically inclined. either as a participant nor an audience member. but my jerry is an avid fan of sports, not rabid, but avid.

the line gets real thin when it comes to certain teams and certain sports between "avid" and "rabid"; i'm here to tell you!

starkville, miss'ippi is the home of the MSU Bulldogs, colors are maroon and white, and saturday is our first home game. i say "our" because i am going too! and! i'm gonna go tailgating before the game!

now, to nonsporty peoples like me, "tailgating" is something the obnoxious dude behind ya does in crammed jammed traffic. stay right on the bumper of yer pickup, and tailgate ya. so i had to switch my head up and think of the term from a sporty perspective {that's fun to say, "sporty perspective} .

now, i know what it means, really. the picnic atmosphere of folks gathering in the parking lot prior to a game with their grills, and hamburgers and hot dogs and sausages. but this tailgating event on saturday sounds a lil more upscale than that. cuz it sounds like it's actually inside. could that be possible? well, i'll let ya know this weekend!